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yahoo 2001 Financial Section


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yahoo 2001 Financial Section

  1. 1. SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION Washington, D.C. 20549 FORM 10-K ANNUAL REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934 For the fiscal year ended December 31, 2001 Commission File Number 0-28018 YAHOO! INC. (Exact name of Registrant as specified in its charter) Delaware 77-0398689 (State or other jurisdiction of (I.R.S. Employer incorporation or organization) Identification No.) 701 First Avenue Sunnyvale, California 94089 (Address of principal executive offices) Registrant’s telephone number, including area code: (408) 349-3300 Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act: None Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(g) of the Act: Common Stock, $.001 par value (Title of Class) Indicate by check mark whether the Registrant (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the Registrant was required to file such reports), and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days. Yes No Indicate by check mark if disclosure of delinquent filers pursuant to Item 405 of Regulation S-K is not contained herein, and will not be contained, to the best of Registrant’s knowledge, in definitive proxy or information statements incorporated by reference in Part III of this Form 10-K or any amendment to this Form 10-K. As of February 26, 2002, the aggregate market value of voting stock held by non-affiliates of the Registrant, based upon the closing sales price for the Registrant’s Common Stock, as reported in the NASDAQ National Market System, was $5,359,179,577. Shares of Common Stock held by each officer and director and by each person who owns 5% or more of the outstanding Common Stock have been excluded in that such persons may be deemed to be affiliates. This determination of affiliate status is not necessarily a conclusive determination for any other purpose. The number of shares of the Registrant’s Common Stock outstanding as of February 26, 2002 was 594,973,823. DOCUMENTS INCORPORATED BY REFERENCE The following documents (or parts thereof ) are incorporated by reference into the following parts of this Form 10-K: (1) Proxy Statement for the 2002 Annual Meeting of Stockholders–Part III Items 10, 11, 12 and 13.
  2. 2. Part I certain of our commerce, communications, broadcast and Item 1. Business media properties. OVERVIEW Yahoo! Inc. (‘‘Yahoo!’’, ‘‘Our’’ or ‘‘We’’) is a global Our global network (the ‘‘Yahoo! network’’) includes Internet business and consumer services company that 24 world properties. We conduct our business globally offers a comprehensive branded network of properties and and manage it geographically. Our principal areas of mea- services, currently to more than 219 million individuals surement and decision-making are the United States and worldwide. As the first online navigational guide to the International. Headquartered in Sunnyvale, California, we World Wide Web (the ‘‘Web’’), is a lead- have offices in the United States, Europe, Asia, Latin ing guide in terms of traffic, advertising, and household America, Australia and Canada. and business user reach. Through Yahoo! Enterprise Solu- Most of our properties and services reside in one of six tions, we also provide business services designed to vertical areas: Listings; Media, Finance and Information; enhance the productivity and Web presence of our clients. Commerce; Communications; Enterprise Solutions and Yahoo! was developed and first made available in 1994 by Access and Distribution. We generate multiple sources of our founders, David Filo and Jerry Yang, while they were revenue across these properties and services that are classi- graduate students at Stanford University. Yahoo! is incor- fied as: Marketing Services, Fees and Listings and porated in Delaware and commenced operations on Transactions. March 5, 1995. In April 1996, we completed our initial The following table presents an overview of our financial public offering. Since 1997, we have acquired several com- reporting structure as well as our vertical properties and panies including those that provided databases, software, services: technologies and/or tools to develop and expand upon United States Operating Segments International Marketing Services Revenue Fees and Listings Classifications Transactions Listings Media, Commerce Communications Enterprise Access and Properties Finance and Solutions Distribution and Services Information hierarchical, subject-based directory of Web sites, which PROPERTIES AND SERVICES enables Web users to locate and access desired information Listings Properties and services through hypertext links. Our directory Our listings properties include Search and Directory and organizes Web site listings under the following 14 princi- classified listings, including Yahoo! Careers, Yahoo! Autos pal categories: Arts and Humanities, Business and Econ- and Yahoo! Real Estate. omy, Computers and Internet, Education, Entertainment, Government, Health, News and Media, Recreation and Our Search and Directory properties are both a compre- Sports, Reference, Regional, Science, Social Science, and hensive, intuitive and user-friendly online guide to Web Society and Culture. Web sites are further organized navigation and the gateway to the vertical offerings on the under these major headings by hierarchical subcategories. Yahoo! network. Our Yahoo! Directory offering includes a 2
  3. 3. Users can either browse the directory listings by subject about finding a real estate agent, researching neighbor- matter, or use Yahoo! Search, a rapid keyword search hoods, financing and insurance, home improvement ideas function that scans the contents of the entire directory. In and information, and assistance in locating rentals and addition to any relevant listings from our directory, we roommates. provide users with Web-wide search results from the Media, Finance and Information Properties Google search engine. For browse-driven inquiries, our directory results include Sponsored Sites, a Yahoo! created The focus of our Media, Finance and Information proper- fee-based program that allows commercial sites to receive ties is to deliver information and entertainment to con- enhanced placement in the directory. For keyword search- sumers. The properties include the following: driven inquiries, our search results also include Yahoo! Sponsor Matches, site listings with enhanced placement in • Media—including Yahoo! Sports, Yahoo! Music search results that are bid on by businesses or organiza- (Launch), Yahoo! Movies, Yahoo! Games, Yahoo! tions and are currently provided through an alliance with TV, Yahoo! Broadcast and Yahoo! Radio; Overture Services, Inc. • Finance—Yahoo! Finance and Yahoo! FinanceVi- On our Yahoo! Careers property, job seekers can build sion; and and post their resumes and through our partnership with • Information—including Yahoo! News, Yahoo! Careerbuilder, search for jobs based on geographic and Weather, Yahooligans, Yahoo! Health, and Yahoo! other user preferences. Through our partnership with Education. Korn/Ferry International, executive job seekers can build profiles within the co-branded career center that are Media entered into the Korn/Ferry recruitment database. Other services available include tips and information on resume Yahoo! Sports provides access to up-to-the-minute news, writing, interviewing skills and salary and company real-time statistics and scoring, broadcast programming, research. In early 2002, we closed our acquisition of localized and global coverage, integrated shopping and, Ltd., a provider of comprehensive auctions opportunities, and an on-line sports community. e-recruiting solutions, establishing our position as a leader Yahoo! Sports has content or marketing relationships with in the online segment of the recruitment marketplace. the NBA, USOC, CNNSI, The Sporting News, USPS Cycling Team, and Major League Soccer. In 2001, Yahoo! Our Yahoo! Autos property offers information about buy- signed a multi-year agreement with Federation Internatio- ing, selling or leasing automobiles. Some services in nale de Football Association (FIFA), the world governing Yahoo! Autos were free to end users at the start of 2001, body of soccer, to produce, market, host, and with FIFA, and moved to be paid services during the year, including commercially operate the official co-branded Web site of individual postings in Yahoo! Classifieds and for pay sub- the FIFA World Cup (, as scriptions to Consumer Reports (which also includes some well as to be one of 16 official worldwide FIFA Partners. free information). Additional services in Yahoo! Autos at the close of 2001 that remained free to consumers LAUNCH, Your Yahoo! Music Experience is an online included: used car search in Yahoo! Classifieds and Yahoo! music destination for consumers, which resulted from our Auctions; new car search, pricing, information, and lead acquisition of Launch Media, Inc. (‘‘Launch’’) in 2001. referral services from Autobytel and Ford Direct; and used Launch provides music consumers with access to car pricing and information from Kelley Blue Book and downloadable music, music videos, concert Web casts and Through various partners, Yahoo! Autos artist interviews, access to music news, album reviews, and also offers financing, insurance, and warranty information artist biographies. Launch delivers an integrated online to our consumers. music experience, including PressPlay, the online digital music subscription service created by Universal Music Yahoo! Real Estate offers the following services: informa- Group and Sony Music Entertainment. tion for prospective home buyers and sellers, the ability to search for listed properties based on geography, price and Yahoo! Movies provides a daily mix of exclusive content, features, moving related content and services, information movie news and special features, including box office results, trailers, and photo galleries, as well as links to the 3
  4. 4. movie-related content across the Yahoo! network. Yahoo! investing insight from third-party sources, morning bro- Movies features film promotions for studios such as Dis- kerage calls, and news and commentary from a broad ney, Sony, Warner Bros., Universal and Fox. array of premier editorial sources. Yahoo! FinanceVision creates an integrated consumer experience of personalized Yahoo! Games offers over 80 free, Java-based classic board, data along with streaming audio and video. card, and word games along with downloadable games, Information game strategy guides, shopping guides, and gaming news and reviews on computer and console videogames. Yahoo! News aggregates feeds from branded news provid- ers, bringing together content from media companies such Yahoo! TV provides television listings, connecting con- as, New York Times Digital, Associated sumers to personalized television listings for more than Press, Reuters, National Public Radio, Dow Jones Finan- 40,000 zip codes, 11,000 cable systems, 2,200 channels, cial News, and more. Through Yahoo! News, consumers and 400,000 programs as of December 31, 2001. have access to breaking news coverage, in text, audio and video, from multiple sources and points of view. Yahoo! Broadcast distributes rich media content, including interactive audio, video and other multimedia content Yahoo! Weather provides consumers with personalized from leading providers, in real time and on-demand. weather information, including current conditions and Yahoo! Broadcast channels include audio books, classic forecast, weather maps and satellite readings, as well as TV, comedy, movies, music, news, people, science, shop- specific forecasts for beach conditions and individual life- ping, sports, travel and weather. style activities, such as golfing and skiing., the Web site of The Weather Channel, supplies weather Yahoo! Radio is a terrestrial radio station broadcaster on conditions to our global properties. the Web. Listeners can browse or search for a specific genre, station or location and listen to live continuous Yahooligans! is a safe, entertaining and educational Web broadcasts from more than 450 radio stations. guide targeted for kids ages 7 to 12. It provides games, instant messaging, reference materials, movies information, Finance the ‘‘Teachers’ Guide,’’ the ‘‘Parents’ Guide,’’ Yahoo! Finance provides a comprehensive set of financial ‘‘Downloader,’’ where kids can download thousands of resources, from investment research to personalized finan- images, sounds and video right onto their desktop, as well cial management tools. In 2001, Yahoo! Finance launched as daily news, sports, and jokes. several new products to help consumers manage their financial life, including two new investment premium ser- Yahoo! Health, a comprehensive starting point for health- vices, The Real-Time Package and Research Reports. The care information, provides information on diseases, condi- Real-Time Package includes a combination of real-time tions, and medications, as well as access to various health quotes from the New York and American stock exchanges information centers, clinical trial information, and online as well as the Nasdaq, breaking news from leading edito- community tools. rial companies, and market analysis including live stock upgrades and downgrades, which are all streamed directly Yahoo! Education is designed to assist students, parents to the consumers’ desktop. Research Reports offer inves- and educators in the education process. The site helps tors timely, in-depth analyst research on thousands of educators extend traditional classrooms and communica- individual companies. Additionally, Yahoo! Finance tion with students onto the Internet, offers an extensive announced Yahoo! Money Manager, a free set of financial reference area through leading education material provid- tools that provides an integrated view of an individual’s ers, and enables students to research and prepare to apply financial life, organizing and summarizing everything con- for colleges, universities and graduate schools. sumers need to know about their money in one online Commerce Properties location. In addition, LendingTree is the loan provider for our Mortgage and Auto Loan Centers. Our commerce platform comprises Yahoo! Shopping, Yahoo! Auctions, Yahoo! Warehouse and Yahoo! Travel. Yahoo! FinanceVision is a live, Web-based financial net- Our primary goal is to provide buyers and sellers alike work that provides viewers in-depth market coverage, with the most comprehensive commerce platform available 4
  5. 5. on the Web. Through strategic arrangements with hun- Mail, Messenger, Personals, Chat, GeoCities, Groups and dreds of premier brands and thousands of specialty Greetings services. merchants/sellers, we offer our consumers the opportunity Yahoo! Mail and Yahoo! Messenger, our instant messaging to purchase a wide variety of new and used goods and platform, are among the most popular messaging systems services ranging from consumer electronics, apparel, books on the Internet. Our free Yahoo! Mail service includes and flowers to travel services such as airfare, hotel, car basic email as well as video email capabilities. In addition, rentals, as well as cruises and vacation packages. we also offer for-pay enhancements including extra email The Yahoo! Shopping platform has a fully-integrated storage. For Yahoo! Messenger, free enhancements beyond search function that enables consumers to search for prod- the basic service include IMVironments , Web cam video ucts across Yahoo! Shopping (new brand name and spe- capabilities and international PC-to-phone calling. cialty products), Yahoo! Auctions (used, unique and hard While Yahoo! Personals has existed since 1997, a premium to find items), Yahoo! Classifieds (general merchandise by ‘‘for pay’’ version was introduced in 2001. Through the region/neighborhood) and the new Yahoo! Warehouse, a ‘‘ClubConnect’’ subscription service, users are able to start fixed price marketplace for used and refurbished commod- conversations with singles that have posted personal ads ity items—books, movies, music, videogames and elec- on Yahoo! Personals. Users can also purchase an Enhanced tronics. This platform presents a solution for multi-format Ad option designed to create personal ads that stand out. comparison-shopping, offering ‘‘four ways to shop, one Free services include the ability to browse the personal place to buy.’’ ads, post personal ads and photos, and respond to Yahoo! Shopping also offers our users tools and services messages received through a designated Personals Mailbox. such as Wallet (express checkout service), Buyer Protection Our Yahoo! Groups platform is one of the Internet’s most Program (free insurance on purchases up to $1,000), popular group email services, enabling millions of mem- Order History (organizes all relevant purchasing informa- bers to communicate with other individuals of similar tion in one easy to find location) and product recommen- interests. We have also developed a suite of services that dation features (editorial content). Shoppers can also com- help users manage their personal information, such as pare both price information and merchant quality for Address Book, Calendar, Photos and Briefcase. Users can certain items as rated by previous shoppers. access their personal information from the Web through Yahoo! Travel offers services to our users covering every- their personal computers or other devices such as personal thing from planning to purchasing to packing. Services are digital assistants (PDA’s), pagers and cell phones, using geared towards recreational and business travelers, bringing Yahoo! Mobile. together the leading travel information and service provid- We also offer a powerful suite of voice services aimed at ers in one place. Yahoo! Travel provides one-stop access to increasing the convenience for members to access informa- our network of approximately 700 airlines, 50 car rental tion and communicate with anyone worldwide. These ser- agencies, and 50,000 hotels through a partnership with vices, including Yahoo! by Phone and Yahoo! Phone Card, Travelocity. In 2001, National Leisure Group joined forces offer consumers a convenient way to gain easy access to with Yahoo! Travel, providing an extensive selection of their online information from familiar devices and remain approximately 5,000 cruise and vacation packages, book- connected. With Yahoo! by Phone, people use natural able both online and over the telephone. During 2001, speech interaction or a touch-tone keypad on any phone strategic media relationships were forged with top-tier to gain easy access to our essential services, including travel airlines (American Airlines and Delta Airlines), car Yahoo! Mail, which is read to the user using advanced rental (Budget Car Rental) and hotel (Hotel Reservation text-to-speech technology. In addition through our Yahoo! Network) companies. Everywhere product, we offer many of our featured net- work services available through wireless and/or alternative Communications Properties devices. These services include My Yahoo!, Mail, Sports, Our Communications properties provide industry leading, Finance, News, Weather, Calendar, Address Book, Movie essential free and fee-based services to many of our users. Listings, Auctions, Yellow Pages, Driving Directions and Our registered members communicate one-to-one, People Search, among others. one-to-many and many-to-many through our integrated 5
  6. 6. domain name registration, web hosting, and Yahoo! Busi- Enterprise Solutions ness Mail); sell their products online through Yahoo! Store Our Enterprise Solutions consist of three primary service and through integrated points of distribution such as offerings: Yahoo! Portal Solutions, Yahoo! Broadcast Solu- Yahoo! Auctions, Yahoo! Warehouse, Yahoo! Shopping and tions and Small Business Services. The main focus is to Yahoo! Classifieds; and promote and market online provide communications solutions to help businesses more through Yahoo! Express directory placement, Yahoo! Spon- easily aggregate and distribute business critical information sored Sites, Yahoo! Yellow Pages, and Ad Manager, a and interact with their target audiences. self-service advertising tool that enables Yahoo! Store merchants to create, purchase and manage advertising Yahoo! Portal Solutions, formerly known as Corporate campaigns on the Yahoo! network. Additionally, the num- Yahoo!, is a leading provider of enterprise information ber of Yahoo! Shopping and Yahoo! Stores merchants rose portal solutions that integrate personalized Yahoo! content from more than 13,000 merchants in 2000 to more than and services with corporate data and applications for 17,000 in 2001. intranets and extranets through the use of deep open stan- dards. Specifically, these solutions allow portal administra- Access & Distribution Services tors to control the aggregation, personalization and deliv- ery of multi-language content, services and applications During 2001, we announced a strategic alliance with SBC that will be accessed by the end-users. These solutions also Communications Inc. (‘‘SBC’’) to offer a co-branded deliver to our enterprise customers a unified, personalized, Internet service to millions of DSL (broadband) customers and integrated web presence. We have reseller relationships in SBC’s 13-state region and to dial-up subscribers nation- with SAP and Novell to deliver customized portal solu- wide. The service, which is expected to launch during mid tions leveraging this technology. 2002, will offer consumers integrated access and premium service offerings on a subscription basis, and will include a Yahoo! Broadcast Solutions is a leading provider of suite of Yahoo! and SBC customized products and Internet broadcasting, communications and collaboration services. tools to business customers. Whether it be live product launches, global corporate meetings or distributed learn- OTHER PROPERTIES & PERSONALIZED SERVICES ing, Broadcast Solutions’ tools, infrastructure and partner- We also have user services that span across some or all of ships are integrated to provide end-to-end solutions for our vertical properties including Yahoo! Wallet, Yahoo! our business customers. Through the Webcast Studio plat- PayDirect and Yahoo! Companion. Yahoo! Wallet enables form, Yahoo! Broadcast Solutions also offers enhanced users to enter their financial, billing and shipping infor- data tools and new dynamic interfaces that are focused on mation into a secure location once and reuse the informa- specific marketing, training, conference and corporate tion for purchases throughout the Yahoo! network without communications needs. The Webcast packages combine re-entering the information. Yahoo! PayDirect from HSBC interactive applications, consulting and production ser- Bank plc (‘‘HSBC’’), an online person-to-person payment vices, and promotion or distribution options, for market- solution, is a service that enables Yahoo! consumers to ers to deliver targeted information. During 2001, Yahoo! request, receive, send, and make payments over the Broadcast Solutions launched Training Management Stu- Internet, eliminating the need for mailing paper checks dio, a service that offers online training combining audio and money orders. Yahoo! Companion is a browser and video, and Virtual Conference, a service that makes add-on that enables users to conveniently access our numerous subject tracks available for live or on demand properties and services from anywhere on the Web. viewing and that can be accessed by thousands of individ- uals at numerous global locations. Small Business Services provides resources, planning tools, research and advice to assist individuals with starting their own online business, as well as to help existing small busi- nesses with expanding their online operations. Our small business offering provides customers with a complete set of services to: develop an online presence (through 6
  7. 7. We also offer personalized user services that are designed majority or 100% of the non-US operations (except in to enable efficient use of our properties and services Japan), and have established offices internationally to facil- worldwide. A cornerstone of these services is the universal itate the local development of these businesses. We have registration system that permits users to easily access pursued a consistent strategy of content aggregation with properties and services, including My Yahoo!, Yahoo! leading third parties and currently plan to continue to Chat, Yahoo! Mail, Yahoo! Messenger, Yahoo! Bill Pay, rollout certain selected properties and services for our Yahoo! PayDirect, Yahoo! Message Boards, Yahoo! Shop- international markets. ping, Yahoo! Auctions, Yahoo! Clubs, Yahoo! Groups, Our joint ventures with SOFTBANK and its affiliates, a Yahoo! Personals, Yahoo! Classifieds, Yahoo! Address Book, holder of approximately 20% of our Common Stock as of and Yahoo! Calendar under a single username. December 31, 2001, include Yahoo! Germany, Yahoo! My Yahoo! is our personalized Web information service United Kingdom, Yahoo! France (‘‘Yahoo! Europe’’), that allows registered members to create a personal profile Yahoo! Japan and Yahoo! Korea. These joint ventures were which organizes and delivers information of personal formed to establish and manage local versions of our interest to the user via a user-customized interface. Users properties in the respective countries. As of December 31, are able to capture their favorite Yahoo! properties and 2001, we owned approximately 70% of Yahoo! Europe, services in one convenient location. From essential infor- 34% of Yahoo! Japan and 67% of Yahoo! Korea. mation and services, such as news, stock quotes, stock REVENUE CLASSIFICATIONS portfolio management, national headlines, local and national weather and sports scores, to more specific appli- Marketing Services revenues are primarily generated from cations such as movie show times, ski reports, best travel the sale of banner and sponsorship advertisements. Banner fares, health tips and traffic reports, My Yahoo! members agreements typically consist of targeted and non-targeted have information of personal interest available at their fin- advertising that appears on or around pages within the gertips in a customized format. With the My Yahoo! plat- Yahoo! network. Sponsorship agreements take many forms form, we are able to deliver targeted product, advertising including: high profile promotions that are typically and transaction-based services. focused on a particular event, such as a sweepstakes; branded content integration into our properties allowing GEOGRAPHIC PROPERTIES marketers to provide contextually relevant information to We seek to build upon our global user base by developing consumers; and merchant sponsorship opportunities on Internet properties focused on geographic regions, which targeted advertising inventory encouraging users to com- include foreign countries as well as domestic metropolitan plete a transaction. Direct marketing revenues result from areas. We have launched numerous geographically targeted email campaigns targeted to certain members of our regis- Web properties. Additional information required by this tered community who have indicated a willingness to item is incorporated herein by reference to Note 9 ‘‘Seg- receive such promotions. Hypertext links are embedded in ment and Geographic Information’’ of the Notes to the each advertisement, sponsorship or directed email to pro- Consolidated Financial Statements which appears in Item vide the user with instant access to the advertiser’s Web 8 of this Annual Report on Form 10-K. site, to obtain additional information or to purchase prod- ucts and services. Additionally, we offer online research We have developed 24 international online properties in and data services, enabling marketers to better understand 13 languages, including localized versions of Yahoo! in their customers profiles and behaviors. Argentina, Asia, Australia & New Zealand, Brazil, Canada, China, Denmark, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Although a significant amount of advertising purchases on India, Italy, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Norway, Singapore, our properties are for general rotation on pages within the Spain, Sweden, Taiwan and the United Kingdom & Ire- Yahoo! network, we also offer highly-targeted marketing land, in addition to Yahoo! guides in Spanish, Mandarin opportunities that are designed to deliver greater value to Chinese and Canadian French languages. Outside the advertisers through more focused audiences. By developing English-speaking markets, we have built independent an extended family of Yahoo!-branded properties, we seek directories of local language Web sites and other content, to offer advertisers a wide range of placement options and developed by native speakers of each language. We own a promotional opportunities. Essential Marketing Solutions 7
  8. 8. is an integrated set of sales and marketing tools built on of a commerce-enabled Web site with email, reporting, the Yahoo! network and delivered in an integrated manner payment processing, and search functionality. This tech- to our global audience. It consists of innovative, interac- nology is currently available in the Yahoo! Shopping and tive marketing programs designed to provide one-stop Yahoo! Store properties, enabling large and small shopping for companies seeking to secure a measurable merchants to transact business online. Internet presence. Essential Marketing Solutions is focused PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT on satisfying six of the most common marketing needs: acquisition, sales promotion, research, efficiency, optimiza- We continually enhance existing services and develop new tion, branding and retention. services to meet evolving consumer demand for technolog- ical innovation. Our domestic engineering and production We maintain three primary channels for selling our mar- teams are primarily located in our Sunnyvale, California keting services: online, telephone and direct. Our Spon- headquarters and in Dallas, Texas. Locally-based teams sored Matches service, which provides enhanced visibility handle most international production and engineering. We for Web sites within Yahoo!’s search results, is sold have developed substantially all of our services internally. through our online channel by Overture Services, Inc. Under this agreement, our search results pages feature EMPLOYEES Overture’s top-five Pay-for-Performance search listings sold As of December 31, 2001, we had approximately 3,000 by its advertisers. Our telemarketing channel focuses on full-time employees. Our future success is substantially sales of online marketing services to small and dependent on the performance of our senior management medium-size businesses. Our direct advertising sales team and key technical personnel, and our continuing ability to focuses on selling our marketing services and solutions to attract and retain highly qualified technical and manage- leading agencies and marketers in the United States. As of rial personnel. See the ‘‘Risk Factors’’ section below for a December 31, 2001, we employed advertising sales profes- further discussion of certain risks related to our sionals in nine locations across the U.S. including: employees. Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Detroit, Los Angeles, Miami, New York and the San Francisco Bay Area. Our RISK FACTORS advertising sales organization consults regularly with agen- cies and customers on design and placement of Web-based We are in a highly competitive industry and some of our advertising, and provides clients with measurements and competitors may be more successful in attracting and analyses of advertising effectiveness. In addition to its geo- retaining customers. graphic sales structure, we have vertical advertising sales The market for Internet products and services is highly teams for automotive, consumer packaged goods, competitive, and we expect that competition will continue entertainment, finance, retail, pharmaceuticals, sports, to intensify. Negative competitive developments could technology, telecommunications, travel and advertising have a material adverse effect on our business and the agencies. In international markets, our own internal sales trading price of our stock. representatives handle our advertising sales. In some coun- tries, where we have not established full operational capac- We compete with many other providers of online naviga- ity, sales agency relationships have been established. tion, information, entertainment, business, community, electronic commerce and broadcast services. As we expand Fees and listings revenues are generated from a variety of the scope of our Internet offerings, we will compete consumer and business fee and listings-based services, directly with a greater number of Internet sites, media including Small Business Services, Yahoo! Portal Solutions, companies, and companies providing business services Yahoo! Broadcast Solutions, Yahoo! Personals and certain across a wide range of different online services, including: Yahoo! Search and Directory services. Our Yahoo! Portal Solutions and Yahoo! Broadcast Solutions sales are han- • companies offering communications, information dled by a designated sales team. and entertainment services either on a stand alone basis or integrated into other products and media Transactions revenues include service fees for facilitating properties; transactions through the Yahoo! network. We offer a tech- nology platform directed toward the complete deployment 8
  9. 9. • vertical markets where competitors may have A large number of these Websites and online services as advantages in expertise, brand recognition, and well as high-traffic e-commerce merchants such as Ama- other factors;, also offer or are expected to offer informational and community features that may be competitive with the • manufacturers of personal computers or software services that we offer. In order to compete effectively, we who may develop their own Internet portals to may need to expend significant internal engineering which they would direct their customers; resources or acquire other technologies and companies to provide or enhance such capabilities. Any of these efforts • online employment recruiting companies; could have a material adverse effect on our business, oper- ating results and financial condition and be dilutive to our • online merchant hosting services; and stockholders. • online broadcasting of business events. Our intellectual property rights are costly and difficult to protect. In particular, we face significant competition from AOL We regard our copyrights, patents, trademarks, trade dress, Time Warner and Microsoft (MSN). The combination of trade secrets, and similar intellectual property, including America Online and Time Warner provides America our rights to certain domain names, as critical to Yahoo!’s Online with content from Time Warner’s movie and tele- success. We rely upon trademark, patent and copyright vision, music, books and periodicals, news, sports and law, trade secret protection and confidentiality or license other media holdings; access to a network of cable and agreements with our employees, customers, partners and other broadband delivery technologies; and considerable others to protect our proprietary rights. For example, we resources for future growth and expansion. The America have obtained the registration for certain of our trade- Online/Time Warner combination also provides America marks, including ‘‘Yahoo!’’ and ‘‘Yahooligans!.’’ Effective Online with access to a broad potential customer base trademark, patent, copyright, and trade secret protection consisting of Time Warner’s current customers and sub- may not be available in every country in which our prod- scribers of its various media properties. To a less signifi- ucts and media properties are distributed or made avail- cant extent, we also face competition from other compa- able through the Internet, and while we attempt to ensure nies that have combined a variety of services under one that the quality of our brand is maintained by our licen- brand in a manner similar to Yahoo!, including Terra sees, our licensees may take actions that could materially Lycos. In certain of these cases, most notably AOL Time and adversely affect the value of our proprietary rights or Warner and MSN, our competition has a direct billing the reputation of our products and media properties. We relationship with the user, which we generally lack. This are aware that third parties have, from time to time, cop- relationship permits our competitors to have several ied significant portions of Yahoo! directory listings for use potential advantages including the potential to be more in competitive Internet navigational tools and services. effective than us in targeting services and advertisements Protection of the distinctive elements of Yahoo! may not to the specific taste of their users. We also face competi- be available under copyright law. We cannot guarantee tion from Websites focused on vertical markets where that the steps we have taken to protect our proprietary expertise in a particular segment of the market may pro- rights will be adequate. vide a competitive advantage. On an international level, we compete directly with local providers; they may have We may be subject to intellectual property infringement several advantages, including greater knowledge about the claims, which are costly to defend and could limit our ability particular country or local market and access to significant to use certain technologies in the future. financial or strategic resources in such local markets. We Many parties are actively developing search, indexing, must continue to obtain more knowledge about our users e-commerce and other Web-related technologies, as well as and their preferences, deepen our relationships with our a variety of online business models and methods. We users as well as increase our branding and other marketing believe that these parties will continue to take steps to activities in order to remain competitive and strengthen protect these technologies, including, but not limited to, our market position. seeking patent protection. As a result, disputes regarding the ownership of these technologies and rights associated 9
  10. 10. with online business are likely to arise in the future. In extend the Yahoo! brand, fund greater levels of product addition to existing patents and intellectual property development, develop and commercialize additional media rights, we anticipate that additional third-party patents properties, and acquire complementary businesses and related to our services will be issued in the future. From technologies. Additionally, we are required under generally time to time, parties assert patent infringement claims accepted accounting principles to review our amortizable against us in the form of letters, lawsuits and other forms intangible assets for impairment when events or changes of communications. Currently, we are engaged in two law- in circumstances indicate the carrying value may not be suits regarding patent issues and have been notified of a recoverable. Goodwill is required to be tested for impair- number of other potential disputes. ment at least annually. We have experienced a decline in our stock price and market capitalization and our industry In addition to patent claims, third parties have asserted is experiencing a slower growth rate than historically real- and most likely will continue to assert claims against us ized. If such factors continue, we may be required to rec- alleging infringement of copyrights, trademark rights, ord a significant charge to earnings in our financial state- trade secret rights or other proprietary rights, or alleging ments in the period any impairment of our goodwill or unfair competition or violations of privacy rights. In the amortizable intangible assets is determined. At Decem- event that we determine that licensing patents or other ber 31, 2001, our goodwill and other intangible assets proprietary rights is appropriate, we cannot guarantee that were $214.9 million. we will be able to license such proprietary rights on rea- sonable terms or at all. We may incur substantial expenses We also hold investments in securities of technology com- in defending against third-party infringement claims panies. Due to the recent volatility in the stock market in regardless of the merit of such claims. In the event that general, and the market prices of securities of technology there is a determination that we have infringed third-party companies in particular, we have realized decreases in the proprietary rights such as patents, copyrights, trademark market value of such investments of $38.0 million in rights, trade secret rights or other third party rights such 2001 which have been recorded in our consolidated state- as publicity and privacy rights, we could incur substantial ment of operations. We may realize further decreases in monetary liability or be prevented from using the rights, the market value of certain investments in future periods. which could require us to change our business practices in Further, we are subject to employer payroll taxes when the future. our employees exercise their non-qualified stock options. We are aware of lawsuits filed against two of our competi- The employer payroll taxes are assessed on each employee’s tors regarding the presentment of advertisements in gain, which is the difference between the price of our response to search requests on ‘‘keywords’’ that may be common stock on the date of exercise and the exercise trademarks of third parties. Initial rulings in these lawsuits price. During a particular period, these payroll taxes could were in favor of our competitors, but the plaintiffs in be material. Depending on the number of shares of our these lawsuits have appealed these initial rulings. common stock for which options are exercised and the fair market value of shares of our common stock during Financial results for any particular period will not predict such period, these employer payroll taxes would be results for future periods. recorded as a charge to operations in the period such options are exercised based on actual gains realized by Because of the uncertain nature of the rapidly changing employees. In addition to the net proceeds we would market we serve, period-to-period comparisons of operat- receive upon the exercise of stock options, we would ing results are not likely to be meaningful. In addition, receive tax deductions for gains realized by employees on you should not rely on the results for any period as an the exercise of non-qualified stock options for which the indication of future performance. In particular, although benefit is recorded as additional paid-in capital. However, we experienced strong revenue growth through the year because we are unable to predict our future stock price 2000, revenues in the year 2001 were substantially lower and the number of optionees who may exercise during than revenues in the prior year. In addition, Yahoo! cur- any particular period, we cannot predict what, if any, rently expects that its operating expenses will continue to expense will be recorded in a future period and the increase as we expand our sales and marketing operations impact on our future financial results. in areas of expected growth, continue to develop and 10
  11. 11. We rely heavily on revenues derived from Internet advertising, spending quickly enough to compensate for any unex- which are subject to uncertain demand from our current and pected revenue shortfall. Accordingly, the cancellation or potential clients and are difficult to forecast accurately. deferral of advertising or sponsorship contracts could have a material adverse effect on our financial results. Currently, the majority of our revenues come from adver- tisements displayed on our online properties. Our ability We also generate revenue from our search and directory to continue to achieve substantial advertising revenue capabilities through an advertiser’s purchase of an depends upon: enhanced placement in our results. Yahoo! Sponsor Matches, offered through keyword search-driven inquiries, • growth of our user base; is currently provided through an alliance with a third party. If we are unable to continue to secure an arrange- • our user base being attractive to advertisers; ment with a third party provider on terms which are acceptable to us, or we are unable to develop our own • our ability to derive better demographic and other ability to provide this service, our revenue could be information from our users; adversely affected. • acceptance by advertisers of the Web as an adver- General economic downturns could harm our ability to tising medium; and generate advertising revenue. • our ability to transition and expand into other Expenditures by advertisers tend to be cyclical, reflecting forms of advertising. overall economic conditions as well as budgeting and buy- ing patterns. The overall market for advertising, including In addition, we are experiencing a shift in the source of Internet advertising, has been generally characterized in our advertising revenues from Internet companies to com- recent quarters by softness of demand and the reduction panies in more traditional lines of business. These adver- of marketing and advertising budgets or the delay in tisers often have substantially different requirements and spending of budgeted resources. As a result, advertising expectations than Internet companies with respect to spending across traditional media, as well as the Internet, advertising programs. If we are unsuccessful in adapting to has decreased. the needs of our changing mix of advertisers, it could have a material adverse effect on our business, operating In addition, the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks and results and financial condition. In addition, Internet com- the United States’ military response, may contribute to panies are ceasing to spend money on advertising at a continued general economic weakness and, accordingly, faster pace than we anticipated, and companies in more further reductions in advertising spending. Acts of war traditional lines of business are not spending money on and terrorism against the United States, and the United advertising as quickly as we anticipated. These conditions States’ response to such acts, may also exacerbate or pro- could have a material adverse effect on our business, oper- long a general slowdown in the U.S. advertising market ating results and financial condition. and the economy, which could cause our advertising or other revenues to decrease or fail to grow. Most of our revenues are currently derived from agree- ments with advertisers or sponsorship arrangements. Our In addition, if economic conditions do improve, market- agreements with advertisers and sponsors generally have ing budgets and advertising spending may not increase terms of three years or less and, in many cases, the terms from current levels. are much shorter. In cases where the advertiser is provid- ing services, the agreements often have payments contin- The rate structure of some of our sponsorship arrangements gent on usage levels. Many of our advertisers are Internet subjects us to financial risk. companies which, in certain cases, may lack financial A key element of our strategy is to generate advertising resources to fulfill their commitments. Accordingly, it is revenues through sponsored services and placements by difficult to forecast these revenues accurately. However, third parties in our online media properties in addition to our expense levels are based in part on expectations of banner advertising. We typically receive sponsorship fees future revenues and are fixed over the short-term with respect to certain categories. We may be unable to adjust 11
  12. 12. or a portion of transaction revenues in return for mini- develop an effective method for generating revenues for mum levels of user impressions to be provided by us. such services. In addition, the development of these tech- These arrangements expose us to potentially significant nologies requires long development cycles and a more sig- financial risks in the event our usage levels decrease, nificant investment by us. If we were unable to develop including the following: such applications or use such technologies, the size and rate of growth in our user base would be adversely • the fees we are entitled to receive may be adjusted affected. If we cannot develop a direct or indirect means downwards; by which we generate revenues from our communications services that are greater than the cost of providing such • we may be required to ‘‘make good’’ on our obli- services, our business, operating results and financial con- gations by providing alternative services; dition would be materially adversely affected. • the sponsors may not renew the agreements or We may not be successful in expanding the number of users may renew at lower rates; and of our electronic commerce services and our ability to effectively provide these services is limited because to date, • the arrangements may not generate anticipated we have not had a direct billing relationship with our users. levels of shared transaction revenues, or sponsors We have focused, and intend to continue to focus, signifi- may default on the payment commitments in such cant resources on the development and enhancement of agreements as has occurred in the past. our electronic commerce properties. These properties, such as Yahoo! Shopping, link users with a network of retailers Accordingly, any leveling off or decrease of our user base with whom we have relationships. We do not establish a or the failure to generate anticipated levels of shared trans- direct billing relationship with our users as a result of any action revenues could result in a significant decrease in purchases they may make with the retailers. In addition, a our revenue levels. large number of our users currently utilize Yahoo!’s online We have spent considerable amounts of money and resources shopping services simply to gather information for future to provide a variety of communications services, but such offline purchases. We will need to effectively induce infor- services may not prove to be successful in generating mation gatherers to make purchases in order for our elec- significant revenue for us. tronic commerce properties to be successful. Finally, the success of our electronic commerce properties will also Currently, a substantial portion of the traffic on our depend on, among other things, our ability to attract and online properties is directed at our communications ser- retain well-known brands among our network of retailers. vices, such as email, instant messaging, calendaring and The revenue that we derive from our electronic commerce chat rooms, and we expect this trend to continue for the services is typically in the form of a commission paid by foreseeable future. We provide these and other basic com- the retailer from whom our user purchased a product. munications services free of charge to users, as is the case Users who had a favorable buying experience with a par- with most of our competitors, and have not yet deter- ticular retailer may contact that retailer directly for future mined an effective means of generating revenues directly from providing such services. Alternative revenue models purchases rather than through our service. If our users for our communications and electronic commerce services, bypass our electronic commerce properties, such as Yahoo! such as subscription fees and commissions, are relatively Shopping, and contact retailers directly, we will not unproven and may not generate sufficient revenues to be receive any revenue for purchases made through such meaningful to us. Currently, we are dependent upon the direct contact. Competing providers of online shopping, use of other Yahoo! services to generate revenues from our including merchants with whom we have relationships, communications services, and there is a risk that this rela- may provide a more convenient and comprehensive online tionship will not be sustained. As communications services shopping experience due to their singular focus on elec- become an increasingly important part of our total offer- tronic commerce. As a result, we may have difficulty com- ing, we must continue to provide new communications peting with those merchants for users of electronic com- applications that are compelling to users and utilize more merce services. The inability of our electronic commerce sophisticated communications technologies to provide properties to generate significant revenues could have a such applications to many types of access devices in addi- material adverse effect on our business. tion to the personal computer, while continuing to 12
  13. 13. Our business and enterprise services, while costly to develop, greater knowledge with respect to the tastes and prefer- may fail to gain market acceptance. ences of users residing in that country and/or their focus on a single market. We have experienced and expect to We have invested a significant amount of money and continue to experience higher costs as a percentage of rev- resources in the creation of our business and enterprise enues in connection with the development and mainte- services, such as Yahoo! Webcast Studio, which allows bus- nance of international online properties. We have selected iness customers to create and stream their own corporate international markets that may not develop at a rate that events, and Yahoo! Portal Solutions, a customized enter- supports our level of investment. In particular, interna- prise portal solution. Many of these services are unproven tional markets typically have been slower than domestic and may fail to gain market acceptance. Because the mar- markets in adopting the Internet as an advertising and ket for these business and enterprise services is new and commerce medium. evolving, it is difficult to predict the size of this market and its rate of growth, if any. In addition, it is uncertain In addition to uncertainty about our ability to continue whether businesses and other organizations will utilize the to generate revenues from our foreign operations and Internet to any significant degree as a means of broadcast- expand our international presence, there are certain risks ing business conferences and other events. Potential busi- inherent in doing business on an international level, ness services customers must accept audio and video including: broadcast services over the Internet as a viable alternative to face-to-face meetings, television or audio, audio • trade barriers and unexpected changes in regula- teleconferences and video conferencing. We cannot assure tory requirements; you that the market for business and enterprise services will continue to develop or be sustainable. If the market • difficulties in developing, staffing and simultane- fails to develop, develops more slowly than expected or ously managing a large number of unique foreign becomes more competitive than is currently expected, our operations as a result of distance, language and operating results could be adversely affected. cultural differences; We will continue to expand our operations into international • higher costs of doing business in foreign countries; markets in which we have limited experience, are faced with relatively higher costs and are exposed to greater risks. • longer payment cycles; A key part of our strategy is to develop Yahoo!-branded online properties in international markets. We have devel- • currency exchange rate fluctuations; oped, through joint ventures, subsidiaries and branch offices, Yahoo! properties localized for over 20 other coun- • political and economic instability and export tries. To date, we have only limited experience in develop- restrictions; ing localized versions of our products and marketing and • seasonal reductions in business activity; operating our products and services internationally, and we rely on the efforts and abilities of our foreign business • risks related to government regulation including partners in such activities. those more fully described below; and We believe that in light of substantial anticipated competi- • potentially adverse tax consequences. tion, we need to expand our operations in international markets quickly in order to obtain market share effec- One or more of these factors could have a material tively. However, in a number of international markets, adverse effect on our future international operations and, especially those in Europe, we face substantial competition consequently, on our business, operating results, and from Internet Service Providers (ISPs) that offer or may financial condition. offer their own navigational services. Many of these ISPs have a dominant market share in their territories. Further, foreign providers of competing online services may have a substantial advantage over us in attracting users in their country due to more established branding in that country, 13
  14. 14. We depend on key personnel who may not continue to work for numbers of simultaneous users, unique users and daily for us. page views delivered. In addition, the services offered by Yahoo! and popular with users have changed significantly We are substantially dependent on the continued services in the past and are expected to change rapidly in the of our key personnel, including our two founders, our future. Much of the architecture that we employ was not chief executive officer, president, chief financial officer, originally designed to accommodate levels or types of use chief technical officer, executive and senior vice presidents, that we currently experience on our online properties, and and vice presidents. These individuals have acquired spe- it is unclear whether current or future anticipated levels of cialized knowledge and skills with respect to Yahoo! and traffic or use of services will result in delays or interrup- its operations or, in the cases of our chairman and chief tions in our service. In particular, the architecture utilized executive officer, executive vice president for North Ameri- for our email and certain other communication services can operations and certain new senior vice presidents, was not primarily designed for this purpose. The architec- only recently joined us. If any of these individuals were to ture is highly complex and may not provide satisfactory leave Yahoo! unexpectedly, we could face substantial diffi- service in the future, especially as email and certain other culty in hiring qualified successors and could experience a communications services become an increasingly impor- loss in productivity while any such successor obtains the tant service offering. In the future, we may be required to necessary training and experience. For example, we have make significant changes to our architecture, including recently announced the departure in April 2002 of our moving to a completely new architecture. If we are current president and chief operating officer, Jeff Mallett. required to switch architectures, we may incur substantial We are currently engaged in a search for Mr. Mallett’s costs and experience delays or interruptions in our service. successor. We may experience similar departures from our If we experience delays or interruptions in our service due domestic or international business units in the future. to inadequacies in our current architecture or as a result Many of our management personnel have reached or will of a change in architectures, users may become dissatisfied soon reach the four-year anniversary of their Yahoo! hiring with our service and move to competing providers of date and, as a result, will have become or will shortly online services. Further, to the extent that demand for our become fully vested in their initial stock option grants. broadcast services content and other rich media offerings While management personnel are typically granted addi- increases, we will need to expand our infrastructure, tional stock options, which will usually vest over a period including the capacity of our hardware servers and the of four years subsequent to their hire date to provide sophistication of our software. This expansion is likely to additional incentive to remain at Yahoo!, the initial option be expensive and complex, and require additional techni- grant is typically the largest, and an employee may be cal expertise. If we fail to successfully scale our broadcasts more likely to leave Yahoo!’s employ upon completion of to large audiences of simultaneous users, such failure the vesting period for the initial option grant. could adversely affect that portion of our business. Also, as we acquire users who rely upon us for a wide variety of We expect that we will need to hire additional personnel services, it becomes more technologically complex and in designated growth areas. The competition for qualified costly to retrieve, store and integrate data that will enable personnel is intense, particularly in the San Francisco Bay us to track each user’s preferences. An unanticipated loss Area, where our corporate headquarters are located. At of traffic, increased costs, inefficiencies or failures to adapt times, we have experienced difficulties in hiring personnel to new technologies and the associated adjustments to our with the right training or experience, particularly in tech- architecture may have a material adverse effect on our nical areas. We do not maintain key person life insurance business, operating results and financial condition. for any of our personnel. If we do not succeed in attracting new personnel, or retaining and motivating Our competitors often provide Internet access or computer existing personnel, our business will be adversely affected. hardware to our users, and our competitors could make it difficult for our users to access our services. We may have difficulty scaling and adapting our existing architecture to accommodate increased traffic and technology Our users must access our services through an Internet advances. service provider, or ISP, with which the user establishes a direct billing relationship using a personal computer or Yahoo! is one of the most highly trafficked Websites on other access device. To the extent that an access provider, the Internet and is regularly exceeding previous standards 14
  15. 15. such as AOL Time Warner or MSN, or a computer or from online properties that are directed at the users of computing device manufacturer offers online services or alternative devices. Any failure to develop revenue-generat- properties that are competitive with those of Yahoo!, the ing online properties that are adopted by a significant user may find it more convenient to use the services or number of alternative device users could have a material properties of that access provider or manufacturer. In adverse effect on our business, operating results and finan- addition, the access provider or manufacturer may make it cial condition. difficult to access our services by not listing them in the We rely on the value of the Yahoo! brand, and the costs of access provider’s or manufacturer’s own directory. Also, maintaining and enhancing our brand awareness are because an access provider gathers information from the increasing. user in connection with the establishment of the billing relationship, an access provider may be more effective than We believe that maintaining and expanding the Yahoo! us in tailoring services and advertisements to the specific brand is an important aspect of our efforts to attract and tastes of the user. To the extent that a user opts to use the expand our user and advertiser base. We also believe that services offered by his or her access provider or those the importance of brand recognition will increase due to offered by computer or computing device manufacturers the growing number of Internet sites and the relatively rather than the services provided by us, our business, low barriers to entry. We have spent considerable money operating results and financial condition will be materially and resources to date on the establishment and mainte- adversely affected. nance of the Yahoo! brand. We will spend increasing amounts of money on, and devote greater resources to, More individuals are utilizing non-PC devices to access the advertising, marketing and other brand-building efforts to Internet, and we may not be successful in developing a version preserve and enhance consumer awareness of the Yahoo! of our service that will gain widespread adoption by users of brand during 2002 and beyond. We may not be able to such devices. successfully maintain or enhance consumer awareness of In the coming years, the number of individuals who the Yahoo! brand and, even if we are successful in our access the Internet through devices other than a personal branding efforts, such efforts may not be cost-effective. If computer, such as personal digital assistants, cellular tele- we are unable to maintain or enhance consumer awareness phones and television set-top devices, is expected to of the Yahoo! brand in a cost-effective manner, our busi- increase dramatically. Our services are designed for rich, ness, operating results and financial condition would be graphical environments such as those available on personal materially and adversely affected. and laptop computers. The lower resolution, functionality The successful operation of our business depends upon the and memory associated with alternative devices may make supply of critical elements from other companies. the use of our services through such devices difficult, and we may be unsuccessful in our efforts to modify our We depend upon third parties, to a substantial extent, for online properties to provide a compelling service for users several critical elements of our business, including various of alternative devices. As we have limited experience to technology, infrastructure, content development, software date in operating versions of our service developed or and distribution components. optimized for users of alternative devices, it is difficult to predict the problems we may encounter in doing so, and Technology and Infrastructure. We rely on private third-party we may need to devote significant resources to the crea- providers, including Exodus, a Cable & Wireless Service tion, support and maintenance of such versions. If we are and its affiliates and Level 3 Communications, for our unable to attract and retain a substantial number of alter- principal Internet connections, co-location of a significant native device users to our online services, we will fail to portion of our data servers and network access. We also capture a sufficient share of an increasingly important por- rely on Network Appliance for key components of our tion of the market for online services. email service. Any disruption in the Internet or network access or co-location services provided by these third-party As the majority of our revenues are derived through the providers or any failure of these third-party providers to sale of banner and other advertising optimized for a per- handle current or higher volumes of use could have a sonal computer screen, we may not be successful at devel- material adverse effect on our business, operating results, oping a viable strategy for deriving substantial revenues and financial condition. For example, Exodus was recently 15
  16. 16. acquired out of bankruptcy proceedings by Cable & Wire- copies of the software to play streaming media free of less. Any continued financial difficulties for Exodus may charge, but providers of streaming media products may have negative effects on our business, the nature and begin charging users for copies of their player software or extent of which we cannot predict. We license technology otherwise change their business model in a manner that and related databases from third parties for certain ele- slows the widespread acceptance of these products. In ments of our properties, including, among others, technol- order for our broadcast services to be successful, there ogy underlying the delivery of news, stock quotes and must be a large base of users of these streaming media current financial information, chat services, street mapping products. We have limited or no control over the availa- and telephone listings, streaming capabilities and similar bility or acceptance of streaming media software, and to services. We have experienced and expect to continue to the extent that any of these circumstances occur, the experience interruptions and delays in service and availa- broadcast services portion of our business will be materi- bility for such elements. Furthermore, we depend on ally adversely affected. hardware suppliers for prompt delivery, installation and Our dependence on third party content and service providers service of servers and other equipment to deliver our subjects us to risks. products and services. Any errors, failures, interruptions, or delays experienced in connection with these third-party Our future success depends upon our ability to aggregate technologies and information services could negatively compelling content and deliver that content through our impact our relationship with users and adversely affect our online properties. We license much of the content that brand and our business and could expose us to liabilities attracts users to our online properties, such as news items, to third parties. stock quotes, weather reports, maps and audio and video content from third parties such as Reuters. We also obtain To increase traffic for our online Distribution Relationships. important elements of our search service from our rela- properties and services and make them more available and tionship with Google. In particular, Yahoo! Broadcast and attractive to advertisers and consumers, we have certain our music and entertainment properties rely on major distribution agreements and informal relationships with sports organizations, radio and television stations, record leading Web browser providers, such as Microsoft, opera- labels, cable networks, businesses, colleges and universities, tors of online networks and leading Websites, software film producers and distributors, and other organizations developers and computer manufacturers, such as Sony, and for a large portion of the content available on our proper- telecommunications companies, such as Sprint PCS. These ties. Our ability to maintain and build relationships with distribution arrangements typically are not exclusive and third-party content providers will be critical to our suc- do not extend over a significant amount of time. Further, cess. We may be unable to enter into or preserve relation- some of our distributors are competitors or potential com- ships with the third parties whose content we seek to petitors who may not renew their distribution contracts obtain. Many of our current licenses for third-party con- with us. Potential distributors may not offer distribution tent extend for a period of less than two years and there of our properties and services on reasonable terms, or at can be no guarantee that they will be renewed upon their all. In addition, as new methods for accessing the Web expiration. In addition, as competition for compelling become available, including through alternative devices, we content increases both locally and abroad, our content may need to enter into additional distribution relation- providers may increase the prices at which they offer their ships. Any failure to obtain distribution or to obtain dis- content to us and potential content providers may not tribution on terms that are reasonable, could have a mate- offer their content on terms agreeable to us. An increase rial adverse effect on our business, results of operations, in the prices charged to us by third-party content provid- and financial condition. ers could have a material adverse effect on our business, operating results and financial condition. Further, many of We rely on the two leading provid- Streaming Media Software. our content licenses with third parties are non-exclusive. ers of streaming media products, RealNetworks and Accordingly, other webcasters may be able to offer similar Microsoft, to license the software necessary to broadcast or identical content. Likewise, most sports and entertain- streaming audio and video content to our users. There ment content available on our online properties are also can be no assurance that these providers will continue to available on other media like radio or television. These license these products to us on reasonable terms, or at all. media are currently, and for the foreseeable future will be, Our users are currently able to electronically download 16